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Open Access Research article

Spectrum of antihypertensive therapy in South Asians at a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan

Aysha Almas1*, Salik ur Rehman Iqbal2, Anabia Ehtamam2 and Aamir Hameed Khan1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University, Stadium Road, Karachi, Pakistan

2 Dow University of Health Sciences, Baba-e-Urdu road, Karachi, Pakistan

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:318  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-318

Published: 1 September 2011



Despite available guidelines on hypertension (HTN), use of antihypertensives is variable. This study was designed to ascertain frequency of patients on monotherapy and > 1 antihypertensive therapy and also to ascertain proportion of patients on diuretic therapy.


It was a crossectional study conducted on 1191 adults(age > 18 yrs)hypertensive patients selected by computerized International Classification of Diseases -9-coordination and maintenance (ICD-9-CM) presenting to a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan. Data on demographics, comorbids, type of antihypertensive drug, number of antihypertensive drug and mean duration of antihypertensive drug was recorded over 1.5 year period (2008-09). Blood pressure was recorded on admission. Primary outcome was use of combination therapy and secondary outcome was use of diuretic therapy.


A total of 1191 participants were included. Mean age(SD) was 62.55(12.47) years, 45.3%(540) were males. Diabetes was the most common comorbid; 46.3%(551). Approximately 85% of patients had controlled hypertension. On categorization of anti hypertensive use into 3 categories;41.2%(491) were on monotherapy,32.2%(384) were on 2 drug therapy,26.5%(316) were on ≥3 drug therapy. Among those who were on monotherapy for HTN;34%(167) were on calcium channel blockers,30.10%(148) were on beta blockers, 22.80%(112) were on Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors,12%(59) were on diuretics and 2.20%(11) were on Angiotensin receptor blockers(ARB). Use of combination antihypertensive therapy was significantly high in patients with ischemic heart disease(IHD)(p < 0.001). Use of diuretics was in 31% (369) patients. Use of diuretics was significantly less in patients with comorbids of diabetes (p 0.02), Chronic kidney disease(CKD)(p 0.003), IHD (p 0.001) respectively


Most patients presenting to our tertiary care center were on combination therapy. Calcium channel blocker is the most common anti hypertensive drug used as monotherapy and betablockers are used as the most common antihypertensive in combination. Only a third of patients were on diuretic as an antihypertensive therapy.